Trouble With Toast

It’s the Final Countdown | March 28, 2008

With less than two months remaining in DC (I’m moving back to Atlanta at the end of May), I recently began formulating “the list.”  You know, the comprehensive accounting of everything you want to do/see before you hit the road.

I actually have two lists–one is the sightseeing-focused list, and it includes things like paddleboating in the Tidal Basin, visiting Arlington Cemetery, touring the National Cathedral, and taking a nice, leisurely walk up Embassy Row.  The other list, however, centers on DC food-related experiences.

I’m very lucky to have eaten at some of DC’s finest and most beloved restaurants–Minibar, Taberna del Alabardero, Vidalia, Rasika, Central, Proof, and Corduroy have already been checked off my list, and I’m heading to Ray’s the Steaks on Saturday.  I’ve done Ben’s Chili Bowl and 2 Amy’s.  I’ve had Salvadoran in Columbia Heights and Ethiopian in Shaw.  I’ve enjoyed many an impromptu meal at farmstands around Eastern Market and Dupont Circle.  I’ve hit up Colorado Kitchen and Dino and Sushi Taro and Matchbox.  And, of course, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve drunkenly eaten (and dropped, sadly) Jumbo Slice at 2 AM in Adams Morgan.

So, it’s been a good run, but now I need your help to remind me what’s left to conquer of the DC culinary scene!  The places that jump out at me are CityZen, Komi, Makoto, Tosca, BlackSalt, and Palena.  Due to the price tags, I clearly won’t be able to eat everywhere I’d like–but you can help me narrow the list down and get it to a more reasonable and realistic place.

Looking forward to hearing everyone’s feedback!


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  1. Palena and Black Salt are MUSTs before you go. But bear in mind Atlanta is not the end of the world and you can always come back later for something you missed. 🙂

    Comment by barbara — March 28, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

  2. If cost is an issue, I suggest doing the cafe menu at Palena. You can also order an item or two from the regular menu if you sit in the cafe.

    For really good Asian cuisine, I suggest Joe’s Noodle House and Mama’s Little Dumplings (both in Rockville)

    I also really like Hank’s Oyster Bar; Bistro Bis; the Hitching Post (soul food and authentic “old-school DC” atmosphere).

    The french fries at Temperance Hall are worth a visit and I hear excellent things about Bistro Lepic.

    Oh, and that French Bistro on P Street in Dupont (Montsouirs?) has excellent bone marrow on toast of you are so inclined.

    Glad Makota made your list. I love that place.

    Comment by Hey Pretty — March 28, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  3. Barbara: That’s true, we all know I’ll be back! And even though Atlanta is not the end of the world (Chick-fil-a on every corner is exciting enough), the foodie community there is not as fun and warm and welcoming. Maybe I’ll just have to change that! 🙂

    HP: I’ve heard nothing but good things about Makoto, so I just need to pick a date and make a reservation. Are the Asian places you recommended Metro-accessible? Oh, and I just recently tried Hank’s–yummy yummy lobster roll.

    Comment by bettyjoan — March 28, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

  4. I would keep Komi on your short list of restaurants to visit before you leave the area.

    Comment by Demetrius — March 28, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  5. I second the comment on Palena. If you eat in the cafe, it might not count as a “big” night out because the prices are so reasonable. Go there when you’re in the mood for a really good cheeseburger. Yum! And the fries AKA fried dollops of mashed potatoes, shoestrings and fried lemon rings…I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! The other items on the menu are top notch as well…I just can’t get over how good that cheeseburger is.

    You can also do Tosca for a reasonable price. Sit at the bar and older a half sized portion of one of their pastas. It’s one of the only Italian spots in the city that I return to on a regular basis. Growing up Italian you could say I’m a bit of a pasta snob!

    Comment by Stephanie — March 28, 2008 @ 6:18 pm

  6. If you want to eat at Sonoma (and I recommend you do), come with me and we can have free wine and a half off employee discount. Hurray!

    And what is this about moving back to Atlanta?? No! Although, I can see where you are coming from, considering that Atlanta has Krystal. Mmmmmmmm. Dirty South.

    Comment by the badger king — March 28, 2008 @ 8:09 pm

  7. Stephanie: Thanks for the tips! I had heard that Palena had a really good cheeseburger, and I loooooove cheeseburgers.

    Badger: I do want to eat at Sonoma, especially if I get to eat there with you! I’ve been meaning to make it out there for a while, but I don’t get to Cap Hill very often. Give me a holler and we’ll set up a date!

    Comment by bettyjoan — March 28, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

  8. Demetrius: Sorry, your comment eluded my eyes there! I am definitely hoping to get to Komi. I feel like it’s a special occasion place, so maybe I can get the boyfriend to take me for my birthday.

    Comment by bettyjoan — March 28, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

  9. I’m leaving in late July, early August, so we should do some of these things together! I definitely have some things I need to do and places I need to see and food I need to eat before I leave.

    Date much?

    Comment by secularfriend — March 29, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

  10. Aw, where are you going? We definitely need to hang out before we both blow this popsicle stand. 🙂

    Comment by bettyjoan — April 1, 2008 @ 1:38 am

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